Some more information from the sex abuse trial of Oblate priest Father Eric Dejaeger. I warn in advance that some of this is quite graphic
(1) All victims who have testified to date were aged 4 to 12 when they were molested. (I say victims because my understanding is that most, if not all, who have testified to date, have received out-of-court settlements)
(2) Father Eric Dejaeger is perceived by some as being physically “extremely vigorous,” almost athletic. I am told that he seems almost unaffected by the testimony;
(3) The court room is packed, but it is small, perhaps holding 20 people max. There are about four support persons in the court at any given time,. There are two sheriffs present at any given time. Yesterday there was a group from the Ministry of Justice. The Deputy Minister was present for the day.
There are some lawyers who pop in and out for short spells;
(4) There is reference in media coverage to victims in the hallways howling in anguish after testifying. This is happening during testimony as well. Yesterday afternoon the man who testified broke down a number of times during testimony and was, I am told, literally howling in anguish.
(5) The first witness yesterday (Thursday 22 November) was a woman who testified that she had been molested by Dejaeger when she was very young. She told the court that she would be in the basement of the church colouring with a group of other children. Dejaeger plucked her out from the group and took her to a another room which the victims call “the dark room.” Dejaeger fondled her genitals, then forced her to fondle him.
(For those who wonder why the victims would go to the church and keep going back, in the tiny hamlet of Igloolik it was apparently really the only place for the children to go. They would get cookies. They could colour. It sounds as thought it was sort of a gather spot for children.)
(6) Now, more on the testimony of the man who took the stand yesterday afternoon
(i) The victim and a friend were told by Dejaeger to come down to the furnace room to feed the dog. When the boys got there Dejaeger was buggering the dog;
He described the yelps coming from the dog;
He told the court that Dejaeger had closed the door to the furnace room. And that the boys wanted to get out. And that his young friend tried to open the door. And that the boy was unable to open the door;
He testified that after buggering the dog, Dejeager went after him. The boy was put on a table in the furnace room and sodomized. He told the court about the nail on the table which pierced his chest. He showed the scar which he bears to this day – the physical scar;
He talked about the Vaseline;
He testified that after sodomizing him the priest moved onto his friend. The friend was sodomized. The boy bled copiously from the rectum;
He told the court that he vowed he would never go back to the church again when Dejeager was there;
He went back one day when he thought Dejager was gone. Dejaeger was there. The priest grabbed the boy by the hair of the head and forced him to fellate him (give him “a blow job”). The victim described how the priest held him by the hair and pushed his head down. He motioned and and described how his head was moved by Dejaeger in order to accommodate Dejeager’s desires. This scenario played out on at least one other occasion;
(7) Bob Weber from Canadian Press has, unfortunately, returned to Edmonton. That means that his CP stories which were being picked up across North America and beyond are gone. That truly is unfortunate. I personally looked forward to his coverage of the trial, and was happy to see that through him word of Father Dejaeger’s atrocities and the suffering of the victims was being heard near and far.
David Murphy from Nunatsiaq Online is still covering the trial, and doing a darn good job, but I think it is impossible to expect that the paper will be able to spring him free for the entirety of the trial.
I fear that coverage of the trial will nigh to evaporate and become no more than a local story with a little peek inside the courtroom from time to time;
(8) There will only be one witness on the stand today (Friday, 22 November 2013). There were to be two but one didn’t catch the plane leaving Igloolik for Iqaluit yesterday. I don’t know if it was a case of a witness missing the plane, or a witness who felt that he/she couldn’t cope, or perhaps illness. Whatever the reason, one scheduled witness did not catch the plane, and there will only be one witness on the stand today. Depending on the situation, court may recess early today.
Last evening I posted a link to an APTN interview. Try as I might I am unable to capture the video clip to post it – I can only post as an external link. Here then is the link to APTN: Belgian woman helped to bring rapist Dejaeger back to Canadian justice
Good work Lieve!
If I have opportunity today I will see if there is some arrangement I can make with APYN to post their clips so they can be posted with other media coverage.
Enough for now,